We haven’t been the only ones dealing with catastrophic flooding this summer. The town of Juneau, Alaska dealt with too much water over a short amount of time but not because of heavy rain. It was melting glaciers that caused rivers to rise and reach major flood stage. This type of flooding can be directly related to climate change.

This specific, glacier-melting flood event was caused by the melting of the Mendenhall glacier which filled up the basin and triggered an outburst flood. The flooding resulting in record breaking flooding on Mendenhall Lake. While this flooding has happened yearly since 2011, this event saw the lake gauge crest around 15 feet. That mark broke the previous record of just under 12 feet.

The swollen Mendenhall River courses along a neighborhood in Juneau, Alaska, on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023, after a glacial dam burst earlier in the weekend caused flooding along the river and Mendenhall Lake. The city said at least two buildings were destroyed. (AP Photo/BeckyBohrer)

Those record high waters brought devastation downstream with some homes falling into the fast moving rapids. According to Climate.gov, Alaska has warmed twice as fast than the rest of the United states. Over the last century, Alaska has risen 3.1 degrees Fahrenheit and it continues to get warmer. This warming is causing Alaska’s glaciers to be the fastest melting glaciers on earth.